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Challenges and Slowdowns Plague Global Ship Recycling Market

Challenges and Slowdowns Plague Global Ship Recycling Market
Challenges and Slowdowns Plague Global Ship Recycling Market

Challenges and Slowdowns Plague Global Ship Recycling Market

The ship recycling market is currently facing a significant lack of activity, according to recent reports from leading shipbrokers and industry players. The situation is notably grim across various regions, with low sentiment prevailing and challenges emerging from regulatory changes and economic difficulties. In this article, we delve into the key observations made by industry experts and explore the factors contributing to the sluggish state of the ship recycling market.

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1. Lack of Activity and Low Sentiment

Shipbroker Clarkson Platou Hellas reported a palpable lack of activity in the ship recycling market over the past week. The report highlighted a scarcity of noteworthy developments, with few sales, limited tonnage on the shores of the Indian subcontinent, and a lack of vessels being circulated for sale. The shipbroker painted a bleak picture, stating, “It feels like there is a lack of ‘everything’ at the moment.”

Allied Shipbroking echoed similar sentiments in its weekly report, noting that low sentiment persisted for yet another week. While the Turkish market remained relatively stable, it was positioned weakly. The lack of tonnage was identified as a persistent issue, impacting various markets, including dry and tanker markets. Even the container sales, which had shown positivity in recent months, could face challenges if vessels continued to divert around the Suez Canal.

2. Regulatory Challenges in the UAE

A major factor contributing to the industry’s woes is the comprehensive set of regulations introduced by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) regarding ship recycling. Best Oasis, a prominent buyer of ships, highlighted the UAE regulations that explicitly prohibit the use of “beaching” and “landing” methods, commonly employed in the Indian subcontinent and Turkey. These regulations also restrict the use of UAE waters as a temporary layover for vessels en route to demolition sites on the shores.

The consequences of these regulations are severe for major recycling countries like Turkey. The ban on beaching affects the Indian subcontinent, while the prohibition on landing methods directly impacts Turkey. The impact on vessels operating under the UAE flag and the number of ‘as is UAE’ sales is yet to be fully realized.

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3. Fluctuations in India, Challenges in Bangladesh and Pakistan

Best Oasis reported significant fluctuations in the ship recycling sector in India throughout the week. While there were intermittent increases, the overall sentiment remained low. The local steel market in India also grappled with reduced demand, adding to the challenges faced by the ship recycling industry in the region.

In Bangladesh, the market experienced a lack of activity and a slowdown, resulting in no sales and significant challenges related to Letter of Credit (LC). Similarly, Pakistan faced LC issues, which could be attributed to the ongoing economic difficulties in the country.

Contrary to the fluctuations observed in India, Turkiye exhibited stability during the week, with no significant improvements reported. The stability comes amid global projections of increased oil demand, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

4. Global Oil Demand and Prospects

The IEA’s monthly report indicated that global oil demand is expected to increase at a faster rate than previously anticipated in the coming year. The projections suggest a rise of 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024, marking an upward revision of 130,000 bpd from the previous forecast. This revision is attributed to a more positive outlook for the United States and a decrease in oil prices.

While this projection offers a positive outlook for short-term oil consumption, it remains to be seen how it will impact the ship recycling industry, especially in regions facing challenges and a lack of activity.

5. Conclusion and Future Outlook

In conclusion, the ship recycling market is grappling with a multitude of challenges, including a lack of activity, low sentiment, and regulatory hurdles. The impact of the UAE regulations on beaching and landing methods is particularly significant, affecting major recycling countries like the Indian subcontinent and Turkey.

As the industry tiptoes into the New Year, stakeholders will closely monitor how these challenges evolve and whether the projections of increased oil demand will provide a much-needed boost. Adapting to regulatory changes, addressing economic difficulties, and finding innovative solutions will be crucial for the ship recycling sector to navigate through these turbulent times and set a course for sustainable growth.

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